[Ads-l] "_pop_ my dick-string"

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 14 05:30:30 EDT 2017


Yeah, I guess you're right. You know about 10,000 times more about the
expression than I do. I do take exception to one thing you said, though:

*OTOH, the definition of _dick-string_ as  "the notional governor of a
man’s ability to attain an erection" is a real sockdolager. Really, nobody
*ever* explained it to me that way! That this interpretation of a word that
was undefined and that occurred only in a single phrase in StL in 1952
should have acquired such an impressive meaning - perhaps even in The Lou
itself; you never know - in 1967 is interesting.*

Dictionary definitions often sound like that when they involve something
abstract. That doesn't mean they're wrong: just that nobody ever tries to
define them in conversation with the precision and register expected in
dictionary definitions. *Exempli gratiā: *the definition of "honor" in
Merriam-Webster online:


Definition of honor

    1
    a :  good name or public esteem :  reputation
    b :  a showing of usually merited respect :  recognition *pay honor to
our founder*

    2
    :  privilege *had the honor of joining the captain for dinner*

    3
    :  a person of superior standing —now used especially as a title for a
holder of high office *if Your Honor please*

    4
    :  one whose worth brings respect or fame :  credit *an honor to the
profession*

    5
    :  the center point of the upper half of an armorial escutcheon

    6
    :  an evidence or symbol of distinction: such as
a :  an exalted title or rank
b (1) :  badge, decoration
    (2) :  a ceremonial rite or observance *buried with full military
honors*
c :  an award in a contest or field of competition
d archaic :  a gesture of deference :  bow
e honors plural
(1) :  an academic distinction conferred on a superior student
(2) :  a course of study for superior students supplementing or replacing a
regular course

    7
    :  chastity, purity
    *fought fiercely for her honor and her life *— Barton Black

    8
    a :  a keen sense of ethical conduct :  integrity* a man of honor*
b :  one's word given as a guarantee of performance *on my honor, I will be
there*

    9
    honors plural :  social courtesies or civilities extended by a host *asked
her to do the honors*

    10
    a (1) :  an ace, king, queen, jack, or ten especially of the trump suit
in bridge
(2) :  the scoring value of honors held in bridge —usually used in plural
b :  the privilege of playing first from the tee in golf

On Mar 13, 2017 6:04 PM, "Wilson Gray" wrote:

On Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 2:31 AM, Mark Mandel wrote:

> isn’t a plausible reading "get a sudden erection"?

Perhaps, if you’ve never heard the term used in the wild or seen it used in
literature. But, in fact, no, because popping one’s dick-string was
something that happened _during_ copulation, not before or after, and the
term, _dick-string_ occurred *only* in that fixed phrase, nowhere else and
that phrase was used *only* to describe an instance of especial sexual
pleasure. If _dick-string_ had been used in any other context than in this
single fixed phrase, then surely someone else would have figured out its
exact meaning, even though I was too lame to figure it out for myself, and
I would have been ridiculed for being so unhip as to need to ask somebody.

Perhaps you had to have been there.


> Here I read "the notional governor of a man’s ability to attain an
> erection" as being an imaginary string that pulls the penis up and forward
> (never mind the frenum, which is on its underside: this is a
> different sense).
>

That’s what I thought, back, then: that it was, perhaps, imaginary, a mere
turn of phrase. But other guys, who had never read the relevant section of
Gray’s Anatomy, tried to explain it to me in terms of the gross anatomy of
the penis as something real that was literally popped - and, presumably,
grew back together, only to be popped again, the next time that the speaker
had occasion to whale a while. I could have followed up these jive-time
"explanations" by asking what it is, exactly, that happens, when your
dick-string pops. But I didn’t want to embarrass anybody.

OTOH, the definition of _dick-string_ as  "the notional governor of a man’s
ability
to attain an erection" is a real sockdolager. Really, nobody *ever*
explained it to me that way! That this interpretation of a word that was
undefined and that occurred only in a single phrase in StL in 1952 should
have acquired such an impressive meaning - perhaps even in The Lou itself;
you never know - in 1967 is interesting.

Of course, this meaning could have been around for a century or more and
was never written down. That it was unknown in StL could be simply
coincidence.

Youneverknow.

IAC, I’ve looked at all instances of the word in GBooks and I _still_ don’t
know what it means, if anything. Check them out. There are only 151
instances, 132 hyphenated, 19 not, including examples like "James Dick,
string accompaniment." Abstracting away from the dictionary definitions -
as is so often the case, you can pass over the one from the UD - included,
you can draw your own conclusion as to what a dick-string is and as to what
_dick-string_ means.

WTF, here’s a freebie:

Three Days Before the Shooting ... - Page 221
https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0375759549
Ralph Ellison, ‎John Callahan, ‎Adam Bradley - 2011 - ‎Preview
I heard the mop smack the floor behind me and Charleston saying, "Yeah,
man, but you didn’t have to shoot him; you hit him with that Cadillac and
that was enough to break his _dickstring_," and Minifees’ laughter coughed
and sputtered in the dark.

"… break his _dickstring_" : rob him of his ability to get on hard? Could
be. Getting hit by a car might could do that.

Youneverknow.

--
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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